The current cleanup of Cathedral Park is long overdue. Cynics among us might point to the opening of a new, multimillion dollar-hotel as the driving force behind new police patrols and attention to the park. After all, paying guests don’t want to see drunken teenagers outside their hotel. The more practical of us, though, simply welcome the attention to what should be a jewel in Santa Fe’s downtown area — a peaceful, green park with flowers, trees and benches, offering an oasis to sit a spell and relax.
Instead, Cathedral Park has been a disgrace, packed with aimless young people who — in their own words — want to hang with their homies, even if that includes public drinking, pot smoking and selling drugs. It makes the park less welcoming for families, downtown workers who want to eat lunch and nearby businesses that have to deal with the associated problems from vagrants with too much time on their hands. Forget what tourists think about Cathedral Park. Hardworking citizens who want to enjoy the amenities for which their tax dollars pay haven’t been happy with the loungers, either.